Monday, November 26, 2007

Online schools

This year, the state legislature voted to ban any state funding for online charter schools. That was a mistake. Online schools can provide an education at a much lower cost than a brick and mortar school. There are some obvious drawbacks, but it is still shortsighted to rule them out completely. As technology progresses, the advantages increase and the disadvantages decrease. Consider these previous arguments against online schools:
  • "Lower income children cannot attend online schools." The price of Internet access continues to decline, and many public libraries offer Internet access for free.
  • "It's easy to cheat in an online course." There are measures, such as webcams, that can be taken in order to verify that a student is in fact doing the work. Students can also study online and take the tests in person, as is the practice with many university courses that are currently available.
  • "Kids don't learn social skills." Many kids don't learn social skills at school anyway. In fact, school massacres can be prevented by having the brainiac sociopath types stay home and have them study online. Many teenagers simply are not fit to enter society until puberty is over.

The advantages are as obvious as the drawbacks. Money is saved on infrastructure, transportation, and textbooks. Many kids learn better by reading than they do from a lecture. Education has been quick to adopt other technological advances. I've watched schools go from using film projectors to VCR's. Let's apply the Internet to its full potential to the educational process.


yuppers28 said...

I'm all for online schooling, however, some of your reasoning is a little weak. Online schooling should be an option for students with handicaps that make regular school difficult to attend; it should be an option for students with busy schedules allowing them to attend school; and maybe even for students who want to skip grades and graduate early. Some of the drawbacks mentioned are real problems and need to be sorted out. Yet,I do think that online schooling is a good idea.

Jeff Pruitt said...

So Libertarians think state government should EXPAND funding for education? Interesting...

ROACH said...

with on-line schooling, you wont get what we have here with the "Monroeville-billies" at Heritage HS. So much for "socialization"
and while we're at it, give all the kids cheap affordable laptops to use, as well.
I used a commodore 64 to do all my college homework on, and passed with flying colors. The only drawback, at the time, was I couldnt take a laptop to the library, for use with some reference, materials, and it was before WIFI, and Google.
Kids today have such great access to technology. why back whenI was in High School, I had to walk 5 miles in snowstorms, in the dark, up hill both ways...
we had to use pencils and paper! gasp! think of all the trees that were killed so I could do this!

e-mail? IM? chat rooms? cell phones? podcasts? those didnt exist when I went to college, and now are daily necessities for students. We have technology- lets utilize it to the fullest. clicks and portals, not bricks and mortar. eliminate the redundancies of HS and colleges teaching the same subjects. lets create one global, free internet university (IU, of course) where we can link to the best professors, and the best indivdualized classwork to meet the needs of students, and the world of commerce for rest of this century. Now if I could only tpye faster, and spell fawlessley athte speed of my thoughts, or the prosseffors lecture..

Phil Marx said...

The increased funding would be temporary. If it is proven that this system works, then there will be less of a need for resources (teachers, buildings, etc) to be spent on traditional methods. These savings then could be passed on to the on-line schools for funding their programs.

If this form of education produces better results for less money, then it should be used. We'll never know if that is the case unless we put some money up front to try it. Consider it an investment.

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

I have to actually throw my quarter pound opinion in on this one.

I think that there are not enough options for youth and young adults who are unable to attend high school for whatever reason (family, sexual orientation, apparently race is still an issue elsewhere in the area also, pregnancy, etc.), for the state to ban outright the possibility of another form of youth and young adults to receive a high school education is flabbergasting to say the least.

In my professional opinion and practice legal or otherwise unless a person continues their education in at minimum pursuing a certification or licensing program after receiving a General Equivalence Diploma (even though most High School Graduates couldn't pass it) I still would hire someone with an HS diploma over someone with just a GED unless they had post secondary education or their work experience was far supper ceding the individual with just a High School Diploma. A High School Diploma shows one thing at minimum that a GED does not- struggle to succeed.

The GED is intended as a fail safe and a stepping stone not a catch all for dropouts in general. The goal of the GED is to allow people who have either made poor decisions previously or those like most of my kids whom have been handed a very shitty hand in life fix the gap or at least start over from scratch as adults but not to stop at just the GED but to go forward and learn more in college or a trade school or now finally enlist in the Armed Services.

The outright ban is wrong I can understand putting severe limitations on who would be eligible to use said services and it would be one way to curb overcrowding in our schools by putting certain classwork or study areas into an online format or switching certain courses to a weekly intensive course where kids take one of certain classes on a Saturday morning like from 10:15-11:45 a.m. and 12:20-1:50 p.m. and 2-4:30 but only for high school elective academic courses like Literature or Music Theory or a Foreign Language.

I think that officially announces two of my platform items if I choose to run for FWCS School Board next year, lol!

Hunkston said...

My brother and his family are moving to Russia so I have decided to learn Russian, the problem is I have no idea where to start! Russian is not as widely spoke as languages such as French and German so I am having trouble locating a tutor. So I have decided that I am going to do it myself online. Does anyone have any experience of learning language online? Is it easy when there’s no one to speak to? Also what are the prices like?

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